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The old tree

The old tree looked at the metal structure that slowly rose next to the place he was living and sighed. He had been here for many years, not as long as the mountains that surrounded him but long enough that even the oldest of the people who lived nearby only remembered him as an old tree. The tree of course remembered how they arrived many many years ago, first only a few and how they only stayed for the warm summer months, but then they stayed for the winter as well. He watched them cut down his neighbors, old friends and family members to build the structures they lived in until the forrest was gone and he was the only tree standing and sometimes he wondered ,why they had not cut him down as well.

He didn’t mind the little people gather old branches that fell off like old hair and carry them to the houses, but one day, when he watched a small group of men approach him with saws and axes, his heart sank. They came closer, looking up at him and discussed, as the old tree told himself that maybe, it would not be so bad to meet his old friends and family soon again. To it’s amazement, one of the men started to climb up his body and out to his many arms and started to cut away those old aching branches that hurt so much when the cold winter winds howled from the icy mountains.

And so, over the years, the little men and the tree became something similar to a family with children playing in his shadows at day and lovers whispering words about eternal love at night as they kissed and he spread the branches and leaves to keep them dry when rain started to fall.

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He watched them change the wold around him, houses grew and roads started to cover the hills like cobwebs, one after another, connecting the houses to each other and the outside world. It amazed him how these little beings were able do all this, first slowly, as men worked using only the strength of their arms and little tools, but soon they invented machines and they changed the land like children playing in the sand. He sighed again. He definitely preferred the gentle, slow way mother nature changed the world.

While he had been pondering what happened to the world around him, the metal structure had been built and now it was as tall as him if not taller, a slim metal tree with cold steel cables connecting it to it’s neighbors. In a strange way it was majestic, but it was also without life, as everything the little men had built. The old tree tried to talk to it, after all, it looked like a tree and maybe they could become friends but the metal tree never answered. The old tree sighed. Sometimes he felt very lonely, being the only tree standing.

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Then, one day, a wind swept across the land from the mountains. It was the warm wind from the south, the old tree new it well, as it always liked how the wind played with his leaves. Sometimes the wind was a very strong, rough wind and the tree had to dig his roots firmly into the ground, but this day it was a gentle wind, playing with his leaves like a lover plays with his dearest soft hair. The leaves rustled in the wind, giggling and chattering like little children.

The old tree suddenly got aware of a sound he had never heard before. It was a soft humming sound, faintly first but as the wind grew stronger, it changed and to the old trees amazement, the cables hanging from the metal tree started to sing. He listened to them and as a sudden gust made all his leaves laugh loud, the cables answered with a deep, humming sound. The wind chimed in, adding his howling voice and the sounds filled the night as the old tree and the power lines slowly began to learn each others language. As the sun rose, the wind ebbed, retreating to the mountains heights it came from and the world was silent until birds welcomed the new day.

The old tree looked at the metal structure that stood cold and silently next to him and smiled lightly. He knew the wind would raise again soon and he and the cables would sing again and he would listen to the stories they would tell him.

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